Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

1 Creativity and and Psychopathology Psychopathology Shelley H. Carson, PhD Harvard University.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "1 Creativity and and Psychopathology Psychopathology Shelley H. Carson, PhD Harvard University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Creativity and and Psychopathology Psychopathology Shelley H. Carson, PhD Harvard University

2 2 Jamison Touched with Fire (1993)

3 3 Michelangelo Vincent van Gogh Cezanne Shelley Keats Lord Byron Samuel Taylor Coleridge Hemingway Herman Hesse Tchaikovsky Wagner Schumann Edgar Allan Poe Dostoevsky Tolstoy Faulkner Nietzche William James Isaac Newton Nikola Tesla Virginia Woolf Sylvia Plath Anne Sexton John Forbes Nash Charles Parker Jackson Pollock Kurt Cobain

4 4 Creative genius has been associated with three types of psychopathology: mood disorders psychosis and psychosis-proneness alcohol/drug abuse (and sometimes OCD) (ask me later about ADHD)

5 5 Historical Perspective

6 6 Plato creativity is a “divine madness… a gift from the gods”

7 7 “No great genius was without a mixture of insanity” Aristotle “…all men who have become outstanding in poetry and the arts are melancholic..”

8 8 Michelangelo The Renaissance “Pazzia” (as a descriptor of great artists) includes: eccentricity sensitivity moodiness solitariness The “artistic temperament”

9 “We poets in our youth begin in gladness; But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness.” – William Wordsworth The Romantic Era 9

10 10 Genius and Degeneracy Nisbet (1912) related genius to: vanity sexual passion gout hallucinations “ne’er-do-wellism” odd skull shape opium eating

11 11 Modern Research on the Link Between Creativity and Psychopathology

12 12 “Creativity and Mental Illness: Prevalence Rates in Writers and Their First-Degree Relatives” Nancy C. Andreasen (1987) Sample: - 30 writers from University of Iowa Writers Workshop - 30 controls matched for socio-demographics - first-degree relatives Method: - diagnosis of writers and controls based on current criteria for mental disorders

13 13 Findings writers were 3 times more likely to have mood disorder 4 times more likely to have bipolar disorder 4.5 times more likely to be alcoholic both creativity and mood disorders seem to run in families “Affective disorder may be both a ‘hereditary taint’ and a hereditary gift” - Andreasen

14 14 “Mood Disorders and Patterns of Creativity in British Writers and Artists” Kay Redfield Jamison (1989) Sample: 47 British Commonwealth artists and writers who had won high medals or awards Purpose: - to ascertain rates of treatment for affective illness in a sample of eminent British writers and artists - to examine seasonal patterns of moods and productivity - to inquire into the role of very intense moods in writers’ and artists’ work

15 15 60% of subjects felt that moods were integral and necessary or very important to their creativity Findings 16% poets treated for bipolar illness 55% poets treated for a mood disorder 62% playwrights treated for a mood disorder periods of high creative productivity roughly corresponded with hypomanic mood

16 16 Conclusion: “…What hypomania generates in enthusiasm and excess, the more critical and obsessive eye of depression often effectively judges and edits.” - Jamison

17 17 “Creativity in Manic-Depressives, Cyclothymes, Their Normal Relatives, and Control Subjects” Ruth Richards and Dennis Kinney et al (1988) Sample: 17 manic depressive 16 cyclothymic 11 normal first-degree relatives of manic depressives 33 controls Method: All subjects were tested for creativity using the Lifetime Creativity Scale (LCS)

18 18 Creativity Scores Findings

19 19 Conclusions: cyclothymic and normal first-degree relatives of manic depressives scored higher than manic depressive relatives milder, subclinical and cyclothymic variations of affective psychopathology may enhance creativity inverted “U” hypothesis of the relationship of creativity and psychopathology

20 20 “Creative Achievement and Psychopathology: Comparison Among Professions” Arnold Ludwig (1992) Sample: All individuals whose biographies were reviewed in the New York Times Book Review section between 1960 and 1990 n = 1,006 Subjects were divided into 19 professions Method: - Creativity ratings were based on Creative Achievement Scale (CAS) - Psychopathology ratings were based on symptom clusters described in the ICD-9

21 21 Findings significantly higher rates for psychopathology and treatment among persons in the creative arts patterns of psychopathology in creative arts showed earlier pathology Total lifetime Depression scores were found to significantly predict the level of creative achievement across all professions

22 22 How Do Mood Characteristics and Creativity Interact?

23 23 Interaction Between Mood Symptoms and Creativity I. Mania A. Cognitive/Perceptual effects Increased ability to concentrate Grandiosity Increased vividness of perception Flight of ideas (unusual associations) phonological and semantic B. Practical (productive) decreased need for sleep increased energy increased goal-directed activity

24 24 II. Depression “What mania creates depression edits” (reality-based mentation) Depression as inspiration and subject matter Creativity as therapy to ward off depression and overcome it

25 25 Conclusions creative individuals are at greater risk for certain types of psychopathology than the general public, especially mood disorders in small amounts, psychopathology may be beneficial to creative endeavors

26 26 Schizospectrum Phenomena and Creativity

27 27 Eccentricity is: “essential for the health of the social organism, for it provides the variety of ideas and behavior that permits the group to adapt successfully to changing conditions. - David Weeks Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness

28 28 Is it possible for schizophrenic individuals to produce meaningful creative work? Schizophrenics (according to Prentky, 1989) Issac Newton Guy De Maupassant Robert Schumann Copernicus Descarte John Forbes Nash Psychotics (according to case studies) Andy Warhol Anne Sexton Rodin Charlie Parker Basquiat John Forbes Nash Rene Magritte Salvador Dali Van Gogh Virginia Woolf Mozart

29 29 Psychosis-Proneness member of the normal population may be very high-functioning score high on psychometric measure of schizotypy magical ideation unusual perceptual experiences paranoid ideation disorganized thinking We will alternately refer to psychosis-proneness as “schizotypy”

30 30 In Previous Study of Harvard Students High CAQ Subjects Endorsed the Following More Often than Low CAQ unusual perceptual experiences déjà vu feelings of presence hearing things “in the wind” shapes that take on significance unusual beliefs telepathy meaning of dreams meanings in the arrangement of things

31 Creative thinking is “the forming of associative elements into new combinations which either meet specified requirements or are in some way useful. The more mutually remote the elements of the new combination, the more creative the process or solution.” S. Mednick Creativity and “Loose” Associations

32 32 Creativity and Reduced Latent Inhibition

33 33

34 34 High IQ Low IQ High LI Low LI

35 35 All subjects took IQ tests, LI tests, and the CAQ. > >

36 36

37 37 CAQ Scores of High/Low LI and High-Moderate IQ Groups in Pooled Eminent and Control Subjects (F(2,45) = 9.55, p =.0003, R 2 =.30), with LI scores alone accounting for 19% of the total CAQ variance

38 38 Conclusions latent inhibition may be disrupted in individuals with high psychosis-proneness in the presence of protective factors, such as high IQ, psychosis-proneness may confer an advantage in increased ability to make novel and original associations that may lead to creative achievements that benefit all of humankind

39 39 Alcoholism and Creativity

40 40 Alcoholics Who Won the Nobel Prize for Literature Sinclair LewisEugene O’Neill William FaulknerErnest Hemingway John Steinbeck Other American Writers with Drinking Problems Hart CraneEdna St. Vincent Millay Thomas WolfeDorothy Parker John O’HaraTennessee Williams Carson McCullersJohn Cheever Jean StaffordTruman Capote Robert LowellJames Agee The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer Tom Dardis (1989)

41 41 A Model For the Interface of Creativity and Psychopathology?

42 42 Psychosis Creative Genius s CGCG Interface Between Creativity and Psychopathology Shared Genetic Predisposition Latent Inhibition filter deficit Cognitive Strengths Cognitive Deficits

43 43 “Creative individuals are at risk for a variety of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, unipolar depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide. The individuals who pay the price in increased vulnerability to mental illness in order to provide accomplishments that benefit society are, as Kay Redfield Jamison pointed out in her classic book Touched with Fire (1993), worthy of our study and our gratitude.” Carson 2001

Download ppt "1 Creativity and and Psychopathology Psychopathology Shelley H. Carson, PhD Harvard University."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google